Hello and every Seasonal Greeting I can think of to you. Welcome to our site. If you’ve been before you’ll know that we are an EASA Part M Subpart F&G Organisation and happy to help keep your balloon in the air wherever you are, and if you didn’t then you do now. You will find all the info you need airworthiness-wise, things like balloon meets and even a few bits for sale on the left hand side in the pages bit. First off though we’d like to thank all our customers and friends, same thing, for their support over the past year and look forward to seeing you (in a purely social way, of course) in 2014. We’ve been a bit quieter this past year than we were the year before however things are still perfectly OK, apart from HS2 set to derail the workshop towards the end of next year.
On a sad note John Brown, Jane’s cousin and our landlord, passed away on 4th December. Our sympathies go out to his sons, Peter, Miles, Tim and their families. He would always make a point of popping in while getting the coal in and having a warmer in a mug, just in-case his missus walked by! Sandy Muir, another good mate of ours also passed away. He was a retired pilot and a regular at our Christmas Dinner. He was old school and flew Dakotas, Britannias and latterly 707s. On a more positive note, thanks to all of you that either dropped a response to the CAA following our highlighting CAP1123 or thanked us for the heads-up and passed it on to other interested parties. Seems it would well have gone under the radar otherwise. Let’s hope the CAA now follow up their quest to lighten Red Tape. We’ll wait and see.
In an amazingly kind and totally unexpected gesture George Fordyce and Robert Wickens have given us G-BLLW, a lovely crinkly Colt ’56 Bullet complete with its original burner, a well good C2 double and basket. Although they haven’t used it for a few years it managed to pass the grab test so should be good for another 50 hours. We’ll give the bottom end a good going over in the next week or so and bring the cylinders up to the mark. Once its airworthy again we’ll take for a spin and if anyone fancies a bit of ‘lighter weight’ ballooning you’ll be welcome to have a go. We’ve got some projects that have stalled from not having a ‘smaller’ balloon but now we’ll have a crack at them. Thanks again. In the articles bit following the continued sort out of me dad’s photos I have found a number of pictures of a trip to London by electric-loco so in normal non-ballooning fashion there is an article Electric Locos - The Wendover, Barrow-in-Furness, Baker Street Connection for your delectation with pictures of me aged five and me brother younger! Just to show we are interested in balloons an interesting piece, A beginners guide to Albuquerque - To do or not to do, featuring hints and tips if you are thinking of going to Albuquerque, has been kindly penned by first-timer Andy Kaye, which you may well find useful if you’ve never been before. Finally finished and in the Technical section is To stop or Knott - a guide to Servicing Westfalia Trailer Brakes which should, along with plenty of pictures help you sort out the brakes on your Westfalia. The next task is to finally put the Guide to Inspecting Burners to bed which hopefully should be done by the New Year. Cripes it’s a lot of stuff. We are initially keeping it to Cameron, T&C, Lindstrand and Ultramagic. Later on we’ll try and include some older stuff. Moving on mon braves.
As I have been temporarily assigned writing and clerical duties not much has been achieved this past month in the now very cold and dark No2 Shed but not for much longer. What we have managed to do is have a bit of a sort out of the trailer stuff that is somewhat randomly stored in there so next year we’ll be better able to actually be accurate if we say that we have a particular part (or not) rather than order a box of coupling bellows only to discover we already have umpteen in the filing cabinet! We do seem to be doing more trailers than ever these days so a good sort out is well overdue. Seemed like I would actually have to buy a Christmas tree this year as I haven’t been able to roam the hills with a saw but blow me down I came in from me first day at the workshop (hindering with Ritchie Turnbull’s balloon) and the Farm Family had done the deed helped by grandchildren Hotters and Nicole who also decorated it. Brilliant. As I write this Team Wellick are at the Christmas Fancy Dress Horse Show, so more on that later no doubt. Well that’s almost it for 2013, not the best of years, unless I decide to escape the family on Christmas Day and write something! Thanks to you all once again for all the support and encouragement you have given us over the past year. It is really appreciated. Have a really lovely Christmas and our best wishes for a brilliant New Year. We’ll be up the Clocktower come midnight on the 31st and will raise a glass to you all. Thank you all again. A Very Happy Christmas from John, Jane, Alice and Chris and, not forgetting, Dotty.